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Barcelona in cinema: which movies have been filmed here?

By | 19 December, 2019 | 0 comments

Barcelona in cinema and all its glorious beauty have been featured on the big screen many times over the years. Besides being one of Spain’s biggest cities, Barcelona also has a vast heritage and has served as a great source of inspiration to many great artists, including the likes of Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Picasso, Gaudí, Antoni Tàpies… but it’s not just artists, film directors from all over the world have come to put Barcelona on the silver screen. Feel like discovering Barcelona on film? Here are some of the most famous movies featuring our great city.

Barcelona de cine

Todo sobre mi madre (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)

This classic from Spanish cinema, directed by one of the country’s greatest directors, puts Barcelona firmly centre stage. Winning an Oscar, several Goyas and countless other awards, the film put the city on the map, winning acclaim far beyond Spanish borders.

In the film, Almodóvar takes us on a journey through some of Barcelona’s most emblematic sites, such as Palau de la Música, the Colombus Monument, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Ramos and Casa del Gremi dels Velers but, without doubt, one of the most well remembered from the film has to be Montjuïc Cemetery.

Barcelona in cinema: El Maquinista (Brad Anderson, 2004)

This psychological thriller stars famous actor Christian Bale and was filmed throughout Barcelona and its surrounding areas. Despite the story being set in California, filming took place in both the Catalan capital and Prat de Llobregat, Terrassa, Sant Cosme, Sabadell and more.

One of the most memorable and horror-filled scenes in the film has to be the one that took place at Tibidabo Amusement Park, a great place for a day out in the city – although after seeing this production, you might not see it in quite the same way ever again!

El perfume (Tom Tykwer, 2006)

Another of the best known films that was shot in Barcelona is ‘El Perfume’, a story actually set in 18th century Paris. The film, directed by Tom Tykwer and based on the novel by Patrick Süskind of the same name, tells the story of a serial killer obsessed with smells.

The scenes filmed in Barcelona that you might recognise from this movie include Plaça de la Mercè, the Gothic Quarter, Plaza de Sant Felip Neri, Barcelona Cathedral, as well as Laberinto d´Horta. However, without a doubt, the most prominent has to be Poble Espanyol, where some of the film’s most important scenes were shot – one at the beginning and another towards the end.

Rec (Jaume Balagueró, 2007)

Rec is one of the most famous horror films from Spanish cinema, becoming a blockbuster in the year of its release. In the film, two journalists become trapped next to a team of fire fighters in a building where they face various horrors and surprises, all while recording their terrifying ordeal in the first person.

The movie was filmed entirely at number 34 on Rambla de Catalunya, where an abandoned building can be found – the perfect setting for this kind of wonderfully terrifying adventure. You can visit this famous site of Barcelona cinema for yourself, just a 3-minute walk from HCC Taber and 4 minutes from HCC St. Moritz.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen, 2008)

Barcelona isn’t the only Spanish region that appears in this well-known Woody Allen film, though the city definitely plays one of the leading roles in the production, alongside Hollywood greats such as Penélope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall and Javier Bardem. In this romantic comedy in purest Woody Allen fashion, the protagonists tour Barcelona. So, in addition to falling in love with the film, you’re sure to fall in love with our great city, too!

Some of the more famous places that make a cameo in this Barcelona film include La Pedrera, La Plaza dels Àngels, El Prat airport, Parque de la Ciutadella, Parque Güell, Tibidabo, La Fundación Miró, Olímpico Port… and not forgetting Las Ramblas and La Sagrada Familia.

A tres metros sobre el cielo and Tengo ganas de ti (Fernando González, 2010 and 2012)

At their respective premières, both films quickly became blockbusters. And both were based on Federico Moccia’s romantic novels, featuring several movie filming locations in Barcelona. Although initially the books were set in Rome, Fernando González decided to shoot them in the Catalan capital.

Some scenes were shot in the Sarrià Quarter, the Carmel Bunkers, Barcelona Port, the Razzmatazz Club and on Vallcarca Bridge, where the famous graffiti with the phrase ‘Tú y yo 3 MSC’ can be found.

Los últimos días (Alex and David Pastor, 2013)

In this particular film shot in Barcelona, we find a city quite different from the one we’ve seen in other films mentioned in this blog post. Because here, Barcelona is transported on screen to an apocalyptic future where the world’s population has been devastated by an epidemic of a disease called Pánico.

Although some of the film takes place underground, we also see the outer surface of Barcelona totally abandoned. Calle Balmes, the Arc de Triomf and Vía Laietana are just some of the parts of Barcelona you can spot in the film. On Vía Laietana today you’ll find HCC Montblanc, just a 10-minute walk from the city’s Arc de Triomf monument.

Barcelona is a city of cinema, with lots of great places to visit and landmarks to spot. Taking a film tour of Barcelona can be a fun way of spending your time here seeing all the sights. If you’re interested, there are various companies offering this kind of city film tour to enjoy our beautiful city in an original and somewhat unusual way.

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